CAQ Snapshot: August 2016
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Eighth Annual CAQ Symposium Covers Auditor Talent, ICFR Challenges, and More
Top practitioners from the public company auditing profession gathered with leading academics at the Eighth Annual CAQ Symposium, held this year on August 7 in New York City. The event, which coincides each year with the American Accounting Association’s Annual Meeting, is a key part of the CAQ’s ongoing dialogue with the academic community on how research can inform audit practice.
As in past years, the 2016 Symposium included panel discussions on critical issues. This year’s sessions focused on innovative approaches to the development of auditor talent, auditor and preparer challenges regarding internal control over financial reporting, as well as an exchange of views between academics and practitioners on research in auditing.
Stay tuned for video and other highlights from the 2016 Symposium, which will be made available on the CAQ’s website and YouTube channel.
CAQ Updates Website with Numerous Enhancements
The CAQ has revamped its website, www.thecaq.org. The updated site offers many new features aimed at providing a better user experience and more accessible content. These include:
- Easier access to CAQ resources: A new Resources section, along with a set of dedicated resource pages, allows users to quickly browse CAQ publications, comment letters, videos, and more.
- An enhanced policy section: The site’s expanded Policy Issues area features CAQ work, as well as related content of interest, on audit quality indicators, the auditor’s reporting model, and a range of other matters.
- More content on key CAQ initiatives: The CAQ has added new pages that showcase its work on top public company auditing priorities, including its efforts on cybersecurity and its Discover Audit initiative aimed at attracting the best and brightest to the profession.
The CAQ looks forward to using this new site to continue to advance the dialogue around issues important to the profession and the markets. If you’d like to share feedback about the new site, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Ready for the September 22 #AuditorProud Social Media Blitz
Mark your calendars: From dawn to dusk on September 22, 2016, the CAQ and its members–along with several professional, university, and high school organizations—will lead a social media “blitz” to celebrate and showcase the value of auditors to the economy and the benefits of an auditing career. Using #AuditorProud, auditors, academics, and others will share messages, photos, and stories on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter about why they chose auditing, what they enjoy about working in the profession, and what a career in auditing can offer.
The #AuditorProud blitz is a unique opportunity to promote the profession to younger generations, dispel myths and misperceptions about what auditors do, and attract the best and brightest to audit. Be a part of the #AuditorProud conversation and celebration on September 22 and beyond!
CAQ Comments on Proposals Regarding Use of Other Auditors, Auditor Reporting
Changes in the business environment, company organizational structures, accounting firm structures, financial reporting standards, and regulatory reporting requirements have all contributed to the need to revisit current standards regarding the use of other auditors, the CAQ said in a July 29 letter to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
“We support actions that lead to increased communications among the lead auditor and other auditors that promote audit quality,” noted the letter, which outlined a range of recommendations for the Board’s proposal.
Separately, the CAQ filed an August 15 comment letter on the PCAOB’s re-proposed auditing standard on the auditor’s report. Commending the PCAOB for its extensive outreach on this issue, as well as its responsiveness to previous concerns raised by commenters, the CAQ’s letter provided observations and suggestions in the following categories: definition of critical audit matters, additional improvements to the auditor’s report, applicability, and effective date.
“Profession in Focus” Features Blackrock’s Edkins, The IIA’s Chambers
In August, the CAQ added two new episodes to its “Profession in Focus” video series. The first features Michelle Edkins, Managing Director and Global Head of Investment Stewardship at BlackRock. Edkins provides investor views on the appropriate use of non-GAAP measures, the evolution of audit committee disclosure, the benefits of enhanced reporting, and the implications of the Brexit vote.
In the subsequent episode, Richard F. Chambers, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Institute of Internal Auditors, discusses the evolving expectations of internal auditors, the right way to think about cybersecurity, and the importance of robust dialogue between internal and external auditors. “I recognize and appreciate the fierce independence that the external auditors must maintain,” says Chambers on the latter topic, “but there has to be communication.”
Video Vignettes: Classroom and Training Tools
The CAQ has developed two video vignettes that provide insights into the types of conversations that occur when auditors are assessing the internal controls used by management. In these scenarios, the focus is on a management review control over goodwill impairment estimates.
The discussions captured in the five-minute videos can be used in the classroom and other teaching situations, as they highlight communications and interviewing techniques, professional skepticism, and how to navigate conversations on difficult and sensitive issues. The videos are the following:
- A Meeting between the Audit Manager and the Company Controller
- A Meeting between the Audit Manager and the Engagement Partner
New Resource for Academic Research: AuditingResearchSummaries.org
The Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) has launched a helpful online resource, www.AuditingResearchSummaries.org. The free database contains concise summaries of academic auditing research published in the seven most prestigious journals in the field, organized into a topical framework.
The site has more than 650 summaries available, with more posted weekly, on topics including standard setting, auditor selection and auditor changes, independence and ethics, and many more. To introduce the database, the AAA has prepared a short video. Social media users can get database-related updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
September Cybersecurity Event to Foster Dialogue Among Key Sectors
What is the best approach to confronting the many challenges related to cybersecurity? What should be the top cybersecurity priorities for the incoming U.S. administration? The Internet Security Alliance (ISA)’s 15th Anniversary Conference, taking place in Washington, DC on September 15, will tackle these questions and more with a wide array of cybersecurity perspectives from top experts in both the private and public sectors.
At the event, CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli will provide cybersecurity views from the auditing profession on a panel featuring Andrew Cotton, Partner at Ernst & Young LLP; Ken Daly, Chief Executive Officer at the National Association of Corporate Directors; Tracie Grella, Head of Cyber Risk Insurance at AIG; and Andrea Bonime-Blanc, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, GEC Risk Advisory LLC. Learn more about the conference and register on the ISA website.
Commentary: “Action Steps for Healthy Corporate Cultures”
“Corporate culture matters,” writes the CAQ’s Fornelli in an August LinkedIn Influencers commentary. Leveraging insights from a recent gathering of the CAQ’s Women in Capital Markets initiative, Fornelli identifies key ways that can help organizations form the basis for sound corporate culture. Five steps noted by Fornelli are (1) setting a strong, ethical “tone at the top”; (2) establishing governance marked by checks, balances, and perspective; (3) supporting company values, demonstrably; (4) maintaining clear and open lines of communication; and (5) celebrating the good.